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In this campaign book Marco Rubio sets out his stall as the unapologetic Reformicon candidate. He writes clearly and with verve about his plans for tax, education, and entitlement reform, if somewhat less clearly about why he should be the one to execute them.
Being something of a Reformicon skeptic, however, I found it hard to get excited. There are the usual anecdotes about “Marge and Homer of Springfield” who have been done down by the system – or, at least, the parts of it he wants to change – and how his (or Mike Lee’s and his, or Paul Ryan’s and his, or Yuval Levin’s and his) policy prescriptions will make things all right again for them and the middle class. If you’ve read the lawnmower book you know the drill. If you’ve read much of Ricochet you also know the usual objections.
(Some of the anecdotes seem rather strange choices. Jennifer, in the first chapter, has failed to reach her American Dream despite going to college and getting a four-year degree in – public administration…)
Would Marco Rubio make a good president? If you think the right thing to do is to save Social Security and Medicare for all time by reaching across the aisle then, sure. If you think the most important thing about a president is his or her instincts on foreign affairs (America must be strong) then, why not? If you think an attractive and articulate spokesman for social conservatism is vital at this trying time in the Republic’s life then, absolutely. Otherwise (and despite my sneaking suspicion Rubio would like to be more radically small-government) you might legitimately conclude there are other candidates out there with a more compelling vision.
This is the third of my campaign book review series, the others being for Ted Cruz’s A Time for Truth, and Carly Fiorina’s Rising to the Challenge. I may have the energy to do another one. What should I read next?Published in